Does this count? 2

Photography by Matt Hocking

Tomorrow at 1:18 my flight departs for home in DC after the past two weeks spent here at my family’s home in Western Mass(achusetts) writing my next cookbook. At 48 pages this stands to be the shortest of the three books I have written, and it only covers one subject: vinaigrettes.

I prepare a vinaigrette at almost every cooking demo I give, and every time I refer to it as the single most valuable recipe I know. Yet, when people ask for the recipe card I never have one. I give out recipe cards for every other dish  I cook, but, in all honesty, I make up my vinaigrettes on the spot with whatever oils and vinegars I’ve brought for other dishes and whatever ingredients inspire me at the farm market that day.

When I told this to a friend who had just read the first draft of my new book she replied, “you just never do anything small, do you?” So, you want a recipe card for a vinaigrette? I’ve got one coming. It’s just 48 pages-long

Cumin Honey and Sherry Vinaigrette with Romaine and Roasted Tomatoes

This recipe was created in a Mexican-inspired #testkitchen for my photographer, Matt Hocking in honor of his birthday. And he took this photo.

For vinaigrette:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Guajillo or other chile powder
  • 2/3 cup olive oil – the good stuff!

For salad:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Guajillo chile powder
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  • Roast cherry tomatoes: Preheat oven to 275. Toss whole cherry tomatoes with olive oil and chile powder and season with salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in oven for 1-2 hours depending on how much time you have. The longer you roast the more the flavor and sugars will concentrate.
  • Begin vinaigrette: While tomatoes roast, place garlic on cutting board and sprinkle with coarse salt. Mash into a paste using the flat side of your chef’s knife. Combine in a medium bowl with vinegar, honey, cumin and chile powder. Set aside for 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
  • Photography by Matt Hocking

    Prep lettuce: separate leaves and tear into bite-sized pieces. Submerge in water for 5 minutes to rehydrate and rinse. Spin dry in your salad spinner (the one you registered for when you got married).

  • Finish vinaigrette: while whisking, drizzle oil into vinegar to form a creamy emulsion. Lightly dress lettuce starting with 2/3 of the dressing and adding more as needed. Your greens should just glisten with dressing and there should be almost nothing left in the bottom of the bowl when you’re done serving.
  • Serve lettuce topped with the roasted tomatoes and sprinkled with chopped cilantro.


oven at 275



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